This Sunday marks the 48th annual celebration of Earth Day. As we continue to consume at increasing levels across the globe, it’s a good day to step back and remember the 3 Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle.

Reducing is fairly straight forward – satisfy your needs, and lessen your wants. Recycling is equally clear, make sure to divert paper & product packaging from the landfill by sorting all recyclables into the blue bin (a Toronto city recycling guide can be found here for all our local readers). But what about reusing? It’s easy to reuse empty yogurt containers and the ilk for storage, but we’ve rounded up some creative ideas on what to do with those beat-up old jeans, baking sheets & empty ice cream containers as well!

 

Animal Lamp Shades

Two hanging pendant lights with upcycled lamp shades

Being purveyors of ice cream, we came up with this upcycling idea for all your empty ice cream pints. See how we made the elephant lamp shade in the video below, and try your hand at creating your own! If you give this DIY a shot, make sure to tag us on Instagram (@demetres).

 

 

Memo Boards

Upcycled Memo Boards

by Kate Puhala via Brit + Co

Have some dinged and scratched up baking sheets that need to retire? Consider giving them a lick of paint and turning them into some handy memo boards instead.

 

Toy Vehicles

Egg Carton Vehicles DIY

from Wonderbly

Egg cartons aren’t usually evaluated for their fun potential, but with a few scissor snips and a new paint job, they will be sure to entertain the wee ones.

 

Cardboard Llama Costume

Cardboard Llama Costume

Image courtesy of Mer Mag Instagram

If you’re a prolific online shopper, then chances are you’ve got a few cardboard boxes lying around. Turn them into fun costumes (for kids and kiddults alike!) before sending them onto the recycling plant. Instructions for this adorable llama can be found here.

 

Quilted Denim Rug

Upcycled Jean Rug

via A Beautiful Mess

Have a couple pairs of worn down jeans that just won’t cut it any more? Avoid sending them to the landfill and turn them into a geometric denim rug instead.

North Americans dump over 10.5 million tons of textile waste each year – a number that’s continuing to grow. If sewing isn’t your style, donate all of your clothing instead. Any items that is deemed too worn will be diverted to textile recycling facilities – a much better alternative to having a smelly heap of old clothes sitting at the dump.

 

Bird Feeder

Upcycled Bird Feeder

via Handmade Charlotte

With the approaching warm weather, there’s no better time to upcycle an old plastic bottle into a cute bird feeder. This tutorial from Handmade Charlotte uses plastic tubes used to package tennis balls & badminton birdies, but can be adapted for any plastic container that is closed on both ends.

 

Book Clutch

Upcycled Book Clutch

by Kelly Bryden via Brit + Co

Sometimes a book no longer catches our interest – and that’s ok. If it’s a hard covered volume, and you can’t bear the thought of sending it off to be recycled, try this clutch tutorial instead. Don’t worry, the pages won’t go to waste either – just scroll down 😉

Book Vase

Folded Book Vase

by Sinnenrausch

This DIY pairs perfectly with the previous one. Learn the basics of book folding to make this beautifully sculptural vase for showing off some spring buds. The instructions are in German, but the pictures explain the concept quite well.

 

Moon Pet Bed

Moon shaped Cat Bed DIY

by adoptunecaisse via 1001pallets

For the advanced DIYer, this moon shaped pet bed is made from weathered wooden wire spools and apple crates. Check out 1001pallets for numerous other ideas on what to do when you happen to find yourself with a couple of wood pallets to spare.

 

Honey Bear Lamp

Honey Bear Lamp DIY

by Catherine of The Pink Doormat

We go through a lot of honey here at Demetres HQ (and no, it’s not just chef Amy eating copious amounts of honey and buttered toast), so when we saw this particular DIY, we were instantly smitten! Of course this can be done with any old plastic container, but the honey bear has a certain charm that just can’t be beat.

 

We hope these ideas inspire you to reconsider some objects that may otherwise be headed to the landfill, and make sure to check back later for more DIYs, recipes and behind-the-scenes peeks here at Demetres HQ.

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